Star Fox 64 3D

StarFox3DThis reinvented action game expands the original Nintendo 64 version with optional gyroscopic controls, thrilling action, and a unique multiplayer mode featuring live video and picture feeds from participating players.

The thrilling shooter/action game Star Fox 64 3D puts powerful action in the palm of the hand on the Nintendo 3DS. This reinvented action game expands the original Nintendo 64 version, originally released in 1997, with optional internal gyroscope sensor controls so players can actively change airship and vehicle pitch when airborne.

Got as many as four players with a Nintendo 3DS and one copy of the Star Fox 64 3D game? Great! Enjoy the local multiplayer mode through local download play with up to four players and only one game copy required. The multiplayer battle mode (survival, time and point) represents the biggest improvement in this re-mastered version. Players can see everyone, even themselves, with viewing options from the inner camera, which takes live pictures and video feeds during gameplay. No online multiplayer option yet, but players could see that in future installments.

This nostalgic update delivers thrilling aerial battles as players can also control submarines and tanks, which can fly temporarily. The Arwing starship, the Landmaster tank and Blue Marine submarine all have great moves. The Arwing’s 360 degree aerial movements also echo on land and in the sea. Players can also hit the down button for a “quick escape” aerial somersault. The tank can barrel rolls and bombs, but take damage when enemies fall on them, so keep those reflexes sharp.

The short mission lengths are perfect for playing “on-the-go”. Players can choose the 64 mode or 3DS mode (fifteen medals in each). Each mission has specific goal tiers that can be easily mastered once players familiarize themselves with enemy fighting patterns (past Star Fox 64 players have a great advantage here). Play among three difficulty levels and get points (money) at the end of each mission, so, as in most quality games, performance counts. Environments include volcanic, arctic, arid, aquatic, space, and urban ground areas.

Special weapons include homing missiles (hold A button) and bombs (y button). Barrel rolls utilize the L or R buttons. Use x button to boost and somersault while climbing. Players earn an extra vehicle for every 100 hits, so make those shots count. Ending results statistics includes a hit ratio as well.

The various storylines become the focus in the single player mode. Each game session saves automatically after clearing each mission. Players can replay missions in the score attack mode and improve on high scores, discover hidden paths, acquire medals, or find unlockables. Online leader boards would have been great here, especially since the reward system is largely score based. Players can also unlock the expert game mode after completing special conditions.

Battles against computer opponents are fierce as beginning missions offer tutorials and hints from leader Fox McCloud’s supporting crew: Peppy Hare, a rabbit and member of the original Star Fox team;

Slippy Toad, a frog and the mechanical and energetic expert of the team; and Falco Lombardi, a falcon and former gang member. The game present several opportunities for Fox, the main playable character, to save his team mates as players learn special moves at the same time.

Fox’s team and their opposition react to Star Fox’s victories and failures…strongly at times. The exiled scientist Andross head the rival Star Wolf crew consisting of Wolf O’Donnell, Leon Powalski, Pigma Dengar and Andrew Oikonny. The dog character General Pepper, who leads the military, hires the Star Fox crew to defeat Andross. ROB 64, a robot, provides field support for the Star Fox crew while other characters include bulldog Bill Grey and Katt who was in Falco’s gang. Fox’s father, James McCloud also factors into the decent storylines. Voice acting is decent as the rapid, Muppet-like mouth movements also offer some laughs, especially since the dialogue does not synchronize with the dialogue…English or Japanese.

Rely on a little help from your friends. Damaged teammates will withdraw from battles, so protect them or lose their assistance. Falco can navigate well; Peppy strategizes and exploits weak points; and Slippy analyzes damage.

Incoming screen messages provide more assistance with easy access with the touch capabilities. Sometimes screens clutter the visuals with too much information, but provide some authenticity with complicated aerial equipment. The bottom screen also displays damaged vehicle areas.

Training mode makes perfect practice while options include control settings and erasing save data. Unfortunately there is only one save file.

Star Fox 64 3D is welcome addition to the Nintendo 3DS game library. Star Fox 64 is currently available on the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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